In a Washington Post story about the Rand Paul-Chris Christie squabble we meet a prominent young libertarian and learn about some of his inviolate principles:
Now vice president of a rapidly growing organization called Students for Liberty, [Clark] Ruper says of the dust-up between Christie and Paul: "I think it's fantastic. When guys like Chris Christie are attacking us, we must be doing something right."Mr. Ruper appears to be a fan of Ron and Rand Paul -- but with regard to those "deal-breakers," I just want to point out that Rand Paul, like Chris Christie, opposes same-sex marriage, which Rand thinks could lead us down a slippery slope to bestiality. And while Rand does oppose mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, he also opposes drug legalization -- and, in fact, Chris Christie is somewhat less than horrible on drug policy: he's called the drug war "a failure" and signed a bill mandating treatmant rather than jail for first-time nonviolent drug offenders, and he signed a bill exempting anyone who tries to aid a drug overdose victim from possible legal penalties.
Ruper, for one, rejects [Ronald] Reagan's depiction of conservatism and libertarianism as being one and the same.
"We are not a branch of conservatism," largely because of social issues like same-sex marriage and drug legalization, Rupar said. "Those are real deal-breakers where we can't get along with conservatives. We find our allies there on the left."
Let me just add that while it's nice to know Christie is not a knee-jerk hard-liner on drugs, there is a strain of conservatism that favors dialing back the drug war -- Pat Robertson, Grover Norquist, and even ALEC have talked about this, as a way of reducing government spending (and also handing the responsibility for drug treatment to religious organizations). So Christie is in sync with some on the right, while also pleasing his state's moderates and liberals. He's still a corporatist right-winger on the vast majority of issues.
But Rand Paul is not a libertarian on Clark Ruper's "deal-breakers."
More on Clark Ruper here.